Which new mirrorless camera from the competition is the “nicest” m43 competitor?


After the Olympus PEN and Panasonic GF3 announcement in back in June we had three new mirrorless cameras from the competition.
I am now curious to hear which one caught your attention, which one is a camera you would love to see with a Micro Four Thirds mount! I added the Fuji X10 camera as option on the poll. It has a fixed lens but it’s certainly an interesting mirrorless camera!

What camera (from the competition) do you like more?

View Results

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There are some interesting positive aspects on almost any I mentioned here: The Fuji X10 controls, the NEX-7 built-in OLED viewfinder, the Sony NEX-5n sensors. I left out the NX200 because I really don’t know what to like about that camera!

P.S.: On Wednesday Nikon will announce their new mirrorless system!



  • I’d say I like none of them. The Sony NEX cameras generally don’t have very good ergonomics, although it is getting better. The Samsungs are just ugly. The Fujifilm X100 has a too nostalgic retro-look.

    I prefer cameras that are built to be ergonomic and not to look well. In my opinion, this is mostly achieved by Panasonic among the mirrorless cameras, although I am sure this is a hugely subjective matter.

  • Bob B.

    I was definitely intrigued by the NEX-7 and the new Zeiss combo…but after viewing the images on DPreview…a was aghast at the lack of image quality for such a large sensor….may just be the photographer and sloppy work. I need to see a real review. Also…the NEX lenses are so clunky…and big…it just isn’t working for me.
    The Fuji X100 has a LOT of quirks..and the fixed lens is the deal breaker for me.
    Nothing has the small size, great ergonomics and lens choices as the MFT format …I am either picking that up and running out the door…or grabbing my DSLR…depends on what my needs are. I love how the two formats complement one another.

    • +1

      You’re spot on.

    • Leiya

      I’m exactly like you too. I have an uninstrusive and intimate M43 and a fast and accurate DSLR.

  • The NEX-7 as a concept, not by its actual implementation: 24MP is far too much, lenses are too big & clunky. Bring me a Pen Pro sized like an EPL-2 but with built-in EVF and featuring peaking focusing, manual controls for ISO, EV and priority modes, with a slightly improved sensor in the DR area (12MP is ok) and I’ll be in HEAVEN.

    • onlyme

      Sounds good to me. +10 :D

    • MiCoGa

      It would be nice to see something like that (16MP like G3 would be nice too for a pro)

    • Jim

      If the nex-7 was with m4/3 mount and the nex5 IQ and Mpix it would be ideal!

    • Pablo

      Just sad, that you won’t see anything like that so soon, if ever…

  • spam

    Samsung has a pretty good lens selection, but the bodies aren’t competitive yet. The NX20 might cahnge that.

    Sony NEX-7 is obviously the clostest competitor at the moment with build in viewfinder. It would have been a perfect GF-1 replacement if had m4/3 mount. As it is now there simple aren’t any allround compact Sony lenses. They desperately need something like the new Panasonic 14-42X. Then new 24mm F1.8 is a step in the right direction though. Unfortunately it’s also too big.

    • > They desperately need something like the new Panasonic 14-42X.

      Let’s be realistic and rather ask for something released, e.g. Samsung’s 20mm, 30mm and 20-50mm.

      Sony must: go to Sammy, buy the lenses’ design, slap E-mount on them, release them.

      • spam

        Agree, the Samsung lenses and particulary the 20-50mm proves that you can get smaller size with 1.5 crop sensors too, but Panasonic has shown something even better (when small size is the main design goal) with the 14-42X. And it’s something like that Sony need for a compact kit zoom.

    • Mihai

      It’s not going to happen. What would they sell you next year, or next year, or next year ?

  • Patrik

    Personally I like the 4/3 format, but the Fuji X-10 is a nice camera! I like the retro style and everything about the camera. The optical view finder is a + for me! Im not so found of EVF! Maybe I am backwards! But I like the RF style, as little information as possible in the view finder, just for framing! We have to wait and see the image quality, but considering the X-100, I think it will beat the crap out of the Canon G12 and Nikon D7100.

  • Mike

    I fell in love with the fuji X10, perfect size, perfect fast zoom lens, perfect retro design. I simply love it. I think it will be the biggest competitor for both the premium compacts and m43 cameras.

    • Thomas

      Yes, the X10 looks like a nice camera. If only Fuji can get it into stores.

      • I’m sorry, but after glitch-(in)fest(ation) the X100 is, who on the earth would buy another “premium” Fuji camera??

        I really really want to love the idea of premium cameras. But the Fuji’s execution of it is very poor.

    • Patrik


  • Seeing as how I’ve already ordered the NEX-7 I’m going to have to vote for that one. I wasn’t sure about it at the time I ordered it, but after some of the recent sample images I’ve seen posted online i now can’t wait for it to arrive. The self portrait taken in the hot air balloon DPR posted made with the cheap kit 18-55mm really impressed me for such a cheap lens. I can’t wait to see the results after I pair it up with some better M-Mount glass.

    I realized one thing the other day when playing with a NEX-5 in a store, it’s not really that the NEX lenses are huge, it’s just that their camera bodies are so small the lenses look huge on them in photos. In person even the 18-200mm looked like a manageable size. I found the size of the 18-55mm kit lens to be about the same as the Panasonic 14-45mm. Sony needs more pancakes obviously, but those will come in time. It may not be a pocket camera, but the NEX-5 with kit 18-55mm would hardly be a burden to carry in a messenger pack or purse.

    • Jamie O

      If you download that file and read the EXIF you will see that is is taken with 24mm 1.8 lens. That is the Carl Zeiss glass and NOT the kit lens. Sorry that you have bought the camera on false premises..

    • Thomas

      Funny, people have written so many articles on how to get around the glitches of the X100.

    • TR

      Eric, I am looking forward to seeing image samples of NEX-7 + M-mount glass – please post when you get the NEX-7

  • twoomy

    NEX-7 is intriguing, but Sony’s E lens selection is still out of whack. Most lenses are too big compared to the camera and most have poor optics that will waste the 24mp sensor. Maybe two years from now, there will be a good set of compelling lenses. Until then m4/3 is the clear winner. The Oly 12mm, Pany 20, 25, 45, 7-14mm, etc… fantastic. And I can’t wait to see the 12-?? X zoom.

    BTW… I’m usually a Nikon fanboy, but their mirrorless system doesn’t inspire me either. The rumored wave of four lenses are not compelling.

  • I would vote for the Ricoh GXR with the Leica M-mount module.
    runner-up would be the “Sexy” Nex-7.

    • Probably admin should have added a separate poll for MF addicts ;)

    • Donald

      +1 on the GXR : I’ve ordered it ( as I have many Leica M lenses )
      The NEX-7; I will wait and see – but will probably instead wait for a Pen-pro before upgrading my E-P1.

    • Chris K.

      Ulli, I’m right there with you…I was excited by the GXR Leica mount and seriously am considering buying it, but I am concerned that the 12MP sensor will limit usefulness beyond “fun”. (Was hoping it’d be a good sensor for large prints.) The Nex-7 with a Leica-M adapter would probably make me a happier camper.

      • Neonart


        Just printed a 17″x22″ from an E5 (even with a little cropping too). Looks AMAZING. I’ve also printed some landscapes in the same size for a friend with an E620.

        You’d be amazed what 12mpx can do, but maybe you’re printing beyond 17×22″.

      • Chris, I think the 12 mp is more then enough for me, and i like the fact that the customized sensor has no AA filter. I have used a Kodak DCS 760 in the past and liked the non-AA output alot. Plus the 1/8000 option using the electronic shutter might be usefull. I just only wonder how precise the focus peaking options are on both the Sony and Ricoh.

  • Physica

    The picture above had X10 , but not in the poll?

  • Mee

    I’m still clueless as to why Olympus or Panasonic aren’t the first ones introducing a mirrorless camera with built-in EVF. It’s obvious that the market is craving EVFs: look at the success of the X100 and the pre-orders of the NEX-7. It kind of feels like Sony is beating Oly and Panny at their own game.

    Did they even understand their own game? I’m willing to bet that if Oly introduced a E-P2 with built-in EVF 2 years ago, their western market share would now be close to their performance in Asia.

    They have mistakenly seen an opportunity to transform the market as a niche. Now Sony is taking lead. :/

  • alexander

    It is definitivli the FUJI X10 to me!!!

  • Sony doesn’t have a good menu..it’s too simple. I vote for fuji X 10, the design is nice and if the menu is like it’s elder brother fuji x 100, it’s definitely a good one!

    Give it m43 sensor with fuji menu and style…voila! I will buy that camera at once!

    It just like an E-p3 with viewfinder!

  • EASY

    Any of those:
    1. X10 with interchangeable lenses;
    2. NX200 for the price of NX100;
    3. NEX-7 with M4/3 mount.

  • Renato M.

    I just bought the NEX-5n over the G3 but I still don’t have it in hands. I know about all the cons of the NEX but as a more like a secondary gear I think it’s Ok. One of the main reasons is that the G3 doesn’t have full manual control in video mode and also because peaking mode seemed very useful. And I’m going to use an adapter with Nikon lens so the lack of lenses doesn’t bother me so much now. Another thing is the 24p @24mbps, not because I have a 24p fetish but because of the bitrate, I hope the IQ will be better at this bitrate and it’s also nice to have a 1080p60. Plus, the NEX-5n has a very nice low light performance. And also because I needed to buy it now, I couldn’t wait until a future m4/3 was announced.

    I’m really looking forward for the GX1/GF PRO/GH3 and I actually like the m4/3 better, but I’m no fanboy of nothing and the NEX-5n was a better deal for me this time.

    My plan is to possibly buy a more high-end m4/3 in the future because so far, even with all the NEX new stuff, the guys from EOSHD that have both of them now still say that the GH2 is better overall. So if Panasonic keep rocking at video I’ll probably buy one. Panasonic is the closest to develop the camera that I idealized when I first saw a DSLR with video back in 2008. And since then I’m waiting for the video get better and get there where I want.

    What I like is that I’ll have two different sensor sizes and this give me some flexibility if I use a Nikon adapter on both. But if I had both of the system now I would invest more on m4/3 because the NEX lenses selection is horrible. Samsung has done a nice job here. I really can’t understand Sony, are they stupid? And I saw some NX200 samples at high-ISO and they seemed very nice! I was one that just ignored Samsung NX but I liked their lenses selection and the samples I saw from the new NX200.

    24MP seems like much but 16MP in a m4/3 size sensor is as much as a 24MP within APS-C. I hope that Panasonic doens’t go further in that and if Olympus can get a new sensor and maintain the 12MP, they can possibly get a very nice high-ISO performance because Oly’s pictures usually looks better – except at high-ISO.

    I’m curious to know how did Nikon put contrast detection AF AND phase detection AF in their mirrorless cameras and if that can be replicated in other systems.

  • xoom

    AFAIK None Of the above ..
    I still prefer Lumix DMC-L1 design..!!
    Simple, Practical & Sexy..!!

  • The NEX7 is the only one that interests me because it’s the only one with a built-in EVF, which is a must-have for me, and I like the idea of having the EVF on the end of the camera rather than in the center (a la Panasonic GH2, which is what I use now.)

    But Panasonic could make a camera with the EVF on the end any time they wanted, and if they did I would rather use that than jumping to Sony.

    The Fuji X10 doesn’t really belong on this list because its fixed lens makes it conceptually a completely different kind of camera. The zooming optical viewfinder would be almost impossible to implement with a M4/3 lens mount; they’d need to read the focal length out of the lens and then use a servomotor to zoom the finder to the proper position, which would make the camera much larger, clunkier, and more expensive.

  • pdc

    Interesting comments.
    Of the 2 main manufacturers competing against m43 with APS-C, I think that Samsung will have the greater traction in the long run, as they have a better design and greater vision for rounding out the system with lens options. The NEX system is plagued by a too short flange back distance for the sensor size, resulting in larger than necessary lenses relative to the body size, with which Sony has done an incredible job, especially in the 5N. One needs to step back and look at overall handling of the cameras, and in this Panasonic have achieved a better balance, especially with the G and GH series. In the long run the m43 sensor size will prove to be “good enough”, even for some professionals, and the advantages in smaller lenses cannot be bested by a larger sensor based system. Nikon’s entry will be very interesting to follow, and provided they have done a good job in video performance, have a modicum of manual controls, and have a really good EVF, we will see it sell well simply on brand name, for travel, and for video, including independent film makers. The Nikon brand will likely be the biggest challenge for Panasonic and Olympus, as the size advantages of m43 will no longer have the depth of appeal it initially had. The Pentax Q is a non-starter, as the lower IQ wipes out any size advantage it offers. So what is Canon going to bring to the MILC party?

  • YOAV


  • The NEX-7 has to be the benchmark CAMERA. – Not that I have used it but it is very impressing. This week Luminous Landscape will report it’s experience. I noted that for the A65 LL stated the 16-80 kit lens did destroy the potential of sensor/processor. It required a much better and expensive lens to utilize the full potential.
    So, while NEX-7 may be the benchmark camera, I think m4/3 is the benchmark mirrorless SYSTEM! The by far best compromize: price, IQ, choice of lenses and portability!
    With the NEX-7 you need lenses costing like 2000 Euro each.
    The far less expensive G3 with it’s fresh 16 Mpix delivers very well. – And results are great with fixed focus lenses.
    The m4/3 SYSTEM desperately need a flagship camera though

    • Nathan

      This is true of every kit lens on every interchangeable system ever.

      Do you think the 14-42 f3.5-5.6 shows the true potential of the Olympus E-30? Or even the E-520?

      Does the 18-55 f3.5-5.6 show the potential of the Rebel T3i?

      Nah. I’d be disappointed in any camera that couldn’t be improved with a better lens than the el-cheapo that shipped with it.

      • Esa Tuunanen

        Unlike kit lenses in general 4/3 14-42mm Zuiko is actually optically very decent lens and not some “We’ll stick few beer bottle bottoms into tube and call it lens”.

        And the E-30 kit I bought was with 12-60mm. Olympus really lacked that paper weight quality class kit lens in their 4/3 line up.
        That optical quality just didn’t carry into m4/3 lenses.

    • Nathan

      Yeah, and if they’d build a 14-42 f2.8 constant zoom, it would immediately be better out of the box than any f3.5-5.6 camera, and would not be hobbled by a slightly smaller sensor, because it would get more light from its lens anyway.

  • Boooo!

    My personal perfect mirrorless camera would be the size of E-3/5. The weight loss from the missing pentaprism could be made up for by a second battery inside the body, or a built-in grip for the extra bulk and better ergonomics.

  • Haralampi

    My dream camera: E-P3 with the high ISO performance and DR of NEX7

  • Sony’s Sweep Panorama is desirable, but I’m hoping that will be coming to micro four thirds soon anyway…
    Also the more diverse options in the miniature picture effect looks good.

  • Simon

    The NEX7 is not meant to be a complement to dslr cameras – it’s the first APS-C dslr replacement! Sony seems to be slow on E-Mount because they now try to get money out of the dslr line. The transition to translucent mirrors, EVF etc., as well as in the past with fast live view mode, Sony is not too committed to dslr cameras. They’re still an electronic company and they already began with the transition to a whole mirrorless lineup.

  • Dima

    Samsung NX 200 is good due to NX mount lenses – pancakes: 30mm F2.0, 20 F2.8, 16 F2.4 amd compact zoom lens 20-50.
    Look at test result of 30mm F2.0, it’s quality similar with Panasonic 20mm F1.7 for just half price :-)

  • Twin control wheels, and a third on the back. One for aperture or shutter, one for exposure compensation and one for iso. Amazing. Focus peaking. Large stunning viewfinder. I am very tempted. Yes the glass is still lacking but I could put some Leica glass on one of these and I am sure the results would be amazing.

    The NEX 7 seems to have been designed for the serious enthusiast or professional.

    Very tempted to dump m4/3 and jump ship. Wonders how long before professional Olympus or Panasonic cameras are released.

    Besides the usual list of sensor improvements, rugged build quality and physical control dials, the most important factor for me is weather sealing. I so miss my E-3 when I am out in the mist and rain.

    • Mr. Reeee


      Yeah, pretty much.
      On paper the NEX-7, aside from the too-dense sensor and the lousy native lenses, looks amazing. Buy the body alone and a pile of adaptors for some manual lenses (Nikon and Pentax SMC Takumars in my case) and maybe a few Voigtländer rangefinder lenses to keep it compact. Then you can trade lenses with your M4/3 camera, too.

      Bummer that using native M4/3 lens (7-14mm and Nokton 25mm) would cause major vignetting! Yes, there’s a M4/3 to NEX adaptor rumored to be available.

      I must say, the NEX-5 looks pretty compelling, too, given the reasonable pixel count and price.

      Still, the bottom line is handling and interface, so I’m looking forward to actually trying both.

  • Nick Clark

    I’m stumped by the fascination with the X10. It’s an oversized P&S with clumsy styling :/

  • Bob

    Of the cameras listed, the Nex7 is certainly the biggest “competitor to m43”. But…the lens line up as we know is just not competitive with m43 at all, in that every single native lens is over sized. This is nothing to do with the body being so small and making the lenses LOOK huge. They ARE huge. Compared to a DSLR, yes they suddenly look “normal” in size, but for the system they are designed to be “complimenting” aka mirrorless and compact, they fail.

    Everyone is waiting for a mirrorless camera that has good selection of lenses and a few key features below, so it is likely to be m43 format and from Olympus or Panasonic, probably Olympus due to point 3:

    1: Compact body (either SLR style or rangefinder as long as it is small and as light as possible)
    2: Built in electornic viewfinder
    3: In body stabilisation
    4: Reasonable or preferably good manual controls for apeture/shutter etc
    5: Good video capabilities (preferably global shutter, 1080p @ selectable 24/25/50/60fps)
    6: Sensor with good ISO and DR performance in low light

    The sooner they bring this camera out the better. They will sell like hotcakes and bring vast numbers to m43 format. I think Panasonic will be stubborn and not go down the in body image stabilisation road, because like Canikon, why should they when they can charge more for lenses with this feature. Screw the consumer and their light weight less expensive requirements.

    Come on Olympus. Bring it out before 2012.

  • Evgenij

    Hi, I’m Evjenji and i like to use other ppl’s alias to badmouth them. I’m basically a moron for a lack of a better word. You may remember me from such words I use like “shatbricks” and “internetz”.

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